BATON, ROUGE, La. -- State and federal disaster recovery officials have a key message for homeowners, renters and business owners in the 18 Louisiana parishes approved for individual assistance as a result of Hurricane Isaac: Complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application — Discarding it could be like throwing away money!
After survivors register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), they may receive an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the SBA. The number one mistake people make is assuming these loans are only for businesses or simply choosing to ignore the application because they do not want to take out a loan.
Applicants should know:
- Filling out the SBA loan application is a necessary step for homeowners and renters to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance.
- If the SBA is unable to approve a loan, the applicant may be referred back to FEMA for some other type of disaster aid. Applicants may be approved for assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items, such as clothing and vehicles.
- Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000, with interest rates as low as 1.688 percent, are available to homeowners to repair/replace primary residences if not fully compensated by insurance or some other source.
- Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property.
- Businesses may borrow up to $2 million at interest rates as low as 4.0 percent for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
- The term of a low-interest disaster loan can be up to 30 years.
“Completing and returning the SBA application is an important step,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall. “People who discard the application could miss out on FEMA grants that could be available to them.”
Storm survivors who have questions about the application should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or are hard of hearing can call TTY 1-800-877-8339. Survivors can also apply online using the electronic loan applications. That website is https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
SBA specialists also are working at the Disaster Recovery Centers that are operating throughout the affected areas. They can answer questions regarding the disaster loan process, help residents fill out loan applications and accept the completed forms.
Louisiana homeowners, renters, and business owners can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Disaster recovery specialists are available by phone daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Individual disaster assistance is available to eligible Louisianians affected by Hurricane Isaac in Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington parishes.
For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.